Did you know that Texas was home to the second most visited wine region in the US and the 10th most visited in the world? Shocker I know, but Texas Hill Country is home to 46 wineries with more developing every day.
When I spoke to friends who lived in Austin, less than an hour away, they didn’t know much about good Texan wine, it apparently has a history of being very sweet and they had no idea that the climate is perfect for producing traditional wines from Italy, France and Spain like sangiovese, viognier and tempranillo.
Wine in Texas is a relatively new endeavor. Until the mid-1970s the only wine being produced was from Franciscan monks, who continue the tradition today.
Where is Texas Hill Country?
If you base yourself out of Fredericksburg it’s only a short 45 minute drive from San Antonio. There are a number of tour operators out of San Antonio if you prefer to come for just the day. Fredericksburg is a tiny town of 12,000 but Texas Hill Country is beautiful and deserves at least a one night stay.
How to Organize a Wine Tour
If you don’t have someone planning to stay dry during the trip it’s best to leave the driving to someone else. There are a number of minivan and limousine tours that visit Texas Hill Country wineries, or the 290 Wine Shuttle offers a hop on hop off bus that runs every 20 minutes and stops at six wineries for only $20.
Consider taking a wine tour mid-week, while the wineries are moderately busy during the week there are crowds up to four people deep looking for wine tastings. Take the civilized route and go on a Tuesday to avoid the crowds.
The Best Wineries in Texas Hill Country
With only 24 hours to spend I couldn’t visit them all and certainly I don’t know if these are the best but here’s a good place to start:
A collaboration between 3 wineries, it’s a popular winery in the area as it’s possible to try many different wines. Along with regular tastings there is a Texas Cheese % Wine Experience with wine paired with raw cow milk, Texas cheeses from Veldhuizen Cheese Company.
Grape Creek Vineyards
Self-proclaimed Tuscany in Texas, this winery is under new ownership and has been winning a number of awards for its wine. With a beautiful patio area it’s worthwhile to stay and have a drink and soak up some Tuscan…err Texan sun.
One of the only wineries to produce wine solely with Texan grapes (many wineries supplement with California grapes) and is known for its tempranillo and viognier wines. It’s often the first recommendation from locals as it has an excellent reputation in the region.
Where to Eat in Fredericksburg
Sadly I didn’t really get a chance to eat but I found that the recommendations were consistent with a top recommendation of Vaudeville and Otto’s. If you’re looking for the biggest burger in Texas try the roadhouse Alamo Springs Cafe.
Where to Stay in Texas Hill Country
Get the full Texas Hill Country experience and stay at the Rose Hill Manor, which is conveniently located next to Pedernales, and a three-minute boardwalk away from some of the best wine in Texas.
If you love wine like I do check out these other posts about wine around the world:
Disclosure: My visit to Texas Hill Country was in partnership with Discover America on an instagram program to learn more about American food. Most people think it’s just burgers and fast food but Texas has so much more to offer. For more information on great food in Texas check out the Discover America flavours site.